One of the certainties of the international cannabis scene – and indeed one of the most frustrating too – is that the world is a patchwork of different legal situations when it comes to our favourite plant.
This can of course lead to confusion. What is legal in one country may be illegal in another, and for this reason we always recommend that people take the time to check how the cannabis law applies to you in a particular country.
What is interesting from a legal perspective is when the law is ‘quirky’. This is particularly evident when you visit Austria. Paradise Seeds has a long association with the Austrian scene (20 years and counting) and in our experience, the country’s cultivators have always displayed a high level of growing sophistication and taken some of our strains to new frontiers in terms of yield and quality.
Austria’s Cannabis Clone Culture
In October we were back in Austria at the Cultiva expo (which was also the destination of the Medical Cannabis Bike Tour this year), and we had the opportunity to catch up with our good friends at Plant City. These guys have been running a high class facility since 2016, providing seed plants (seedlings) to customers. And now we come to the ‘quirky’ cannabis law part of the article!
In Austria, it is perfectly legal to grow cannabis plants to the point of flower. This means that you can legally buy cannabis seedlings and marijuana cuttings. There are a number of shops selling cuttings, mostly in Vienna, but Plant City is the first store to provide seedlings. Most of the seedlings sold from the shop come from Paradise Seeds and the customer menu features Wappa, Spoetnik #1, Nebula and Ice Cream. How popular are they? Approximately 40,0000 Wappa plants are sold each year!
From Cannabis Seed to Seedling
It takes 14 days to produce a seedling that is ready to hand over to the customer, who can pre-order or buy from the shelf. The seedlings are produced under laboratory conditions and the environment is sterile, just like any other grow room, but on a massive scale (Plant City is located in a warehouse space). Every week, 1800 seedlings are produced at the Plant City facility.
Seeds are planted into easy blocks (a natural grow medium combining coco, latex and soil) and germinated under a neon LED that has little real power (“At this stage the seed just needs to know which way is up!” jokes the Plant City cultivator who is giving our tour).
Once the seeds have germinated, and grown to approximately 2cm in height, the shoots are moved to bigger cubes where they will spend a week under LED lights. During this time all of its needs will be catered for. After this the young cannabis seedlings are placed under halogen lights for 5 days. After two weeks of growing, they are ready for the customer to pick up and take home to continue the plant’s journey!
The Advantages of Seedlings
The big advantage of this system of selling seedlings – rather than clones – is that the end user benefits from the genetic stability that comes with growing from seed. As experienced growers know, strain stability is crucial for guaranteeing consistent, uniform results and fulfilling yield and quality potential.
We often say that the key to growing great cannabis plants is to give them the best possible start in life and you can’t get any better than growing from seed! This form of cultivation naturally ensures a healthy plant, compared to using clones.